Photo Shoots

Kaitlin Family | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer


Who is ready for more photos of Kaitlin and her family?  I shared the film portion of their images in a previous post, but now it's time for the rest.  

Y'all, what can I even say about these images.  It was a beautiful family, in a beautiful location, with gorgeous light.  The whole family was fun, upbeat, and ready to have fun.  This was pretty much an ideal session for me.  I loved working with this family and am so excited with how the images turned out!  I hope I can work with them again in the future.

You can check out the images from this session below: 


If you'd like to schedule your own family portrait session, please contact me for more information and to schedule a complimentary consultation

Kaitlin Family on Film | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer


I shot my first portrait session on color film recently.

Ok to be honest, I still shot most of it on digital.  I had never used this film before, and I wanted to make 100% sure that we got the shots we needed out of it.  But I shot a bit of Agfa 200 on my Nikon FM as well, and I'm absolutely thrilled with how these images turned out. 

I will be sharing the digital images from this session in a bit, but something about the colors and the grain in these images makes me super happy, so I'm going to share these first.  

This is a cheap film, only a couple dollars for a roll of 35mm, and that combined with the fact that I barely know what I'm doing with c41 (color) developing meant that I had pretty low expectations for how these would turn out.  But Agfa had good reviews online so I figured I'd give it a try.  And look at those colors- gorgeous!  I think this is going to be a film that I keep coming back to.  It renders absolutely beautifully. And of course this family is super cute, so that definitely helps.

Stay tuned for the rest of this session- I'll be sharing shortly.  But until then, here's the rest of the film shots!


Leah White Sands | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer


Ok here's what I need to know- How in the heck did it take me this long to make my way out to White Sands?  I've lived in El Paso off and on for 3 years now and this was my first trip out there.  What? This place is seriously cool.

Leah and I packed up early in the morning for a day trip.  I brought my cameras because, well, I always bring my cameras, but I wasn't planning a photoshoot.  But when I saw how pretty it was, I knew I had to have Leah model for me.  Luckily, I never clean my car, and so I had some pretty dresses and a big floppy hat in the truck.  And we came out with some beautiful images.


Of course we played some too.  We ran around in the sand, sledded, and I even got behind the camera for a bit (Photo credit to Leah for the photos of me- she did an awesome job!)  We had such a great time! I definitely won't be hesitating about the drive next time I have an idea to go out to White Sands!


Shelly Glamour | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer


Morning light, mountains, and beautiful dresses.  These are some of my favorite things and they all came together for Shelly's glamour session.  We had so much fun for this one.  Shelly showed up with a trunk full of gorgeous dresses and shoes and was excited to shoot.  We ended up laughing for most of the session and had a really great time! 

Check out the photos below!



If you are interested in booking your own glamour session please contact me to schedule your complimentary consultation!

Cassy Maternity | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer


Isn't motherhood beautiful?

I absolutely love shooting maternity portraits.  Being pregnant is such a fleeting moment.  It doesn't feel like it at the time, with the morning sickness, the Braxton hicks, and the incredible exhaustion, but looking back afterwards you'll realize, pregnancy is gone in the blink of an eye. 

And there's really nothing else like it.  There is no other moment in life where a mother and her child are that together, bonded by the fact that they, for a while, share the same body.  The more I learn about pregnancy and how a mother's body adapts to grow a child, the more I realize how amazing it is.  

Pregnancy is also a moment that women often forget to capture on camera.  

Understandably so, being pregnant is hard work.  Getting dressed up with hair and makeup can feel impossible when all you want to do is sit on the couch and drink a slushie. I've definitely been there, and I get that.  But it's so worth it.  Photos from my pregnancy are some of my favorites.  I look at back at them in awe.  Unless I have more children I will never look like that again, my body will never perform those amazing feats again.  But I will always have photos to remember.

So needless to say, when Cassy wanted to have maternity portraits done, I was excited.  She has other children, but has never done photos while she was pregnant.  I was thrilled to be able to finally capture that for her.  

We made our way into the mountains on a foggy morning with a threat of rain.  It was a risky day to shoot, for fear of a sudden downpour, but it was so worth it.  The fog rolled over the mountains in such a beautiful way, it was absolutely gorgeous.

But why explain when I can show- have a look for yourselves!


Isn't she stunning? 

I also brought my Holga for some experimental film portraits.  This one's a bit different, but I'm absolutely in love with the looks that this little plastic camera can create.  


If you are interested in your own portrait session please contact me to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Sara on Film | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

The thing I love most about shooting in downtown El Paso is the color.  There are all kinds of colorful walls and buildings that make amazing backdrops.  So It seemed like a fun challenge that instead of bringing a roll of Ektar (my absolute favorite color film), I would bring a roll of black and white film for this downtown shoot. 
And it was.  When I stopped looking for color I started noticing all the amazing textures and light patterns instead.  Sara met me downtown for a lifestyle type portrait session, and instead of planning ahead which specific locations I wanted to use, we just explored.  Sara was pretty much up for whatever and was totally cool with following me aimlessly around El Paso.  It ended up being a really fun session!

Since I wasn't super happy with the fomapan film I used for my last session, I decided to go with the tried and true Tri-x 400.  I had never used it myself, but according to basically everyone online it's one of the best films out there, so I figured I'd give it a go.

This session was shot on a Nikon FM.

Check out the photos below:


If you are interested in your own portrait session with Mikaela Joy, please contact me to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Leah Glamour | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

I know I always say this, but I had so much fun with this shoot!  Leah came into my studio for a day of pampering and some Hollywood glamour portraits.  She had her hair and makeup done by my amazing makeup artist Sarah Martin (look her up if you are in El Paso and need makeup!), picked out this gorgeous dress from my studio closet (which seriously looks like it was made for her), and played model for a day! 

Of course she rocked it.  How could she not looking like that?! The Hollywood glamour style suited her so well, and it's one of my favorite styles to shoot.  Check out the photos here below:

If you are interested in having your own glamour portrait session please contact me to book your complimentary consultation today.

Martibeth | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

Martibeth | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

Ah El Paso.  When it rains here it REALLY rains.  I somehow missed monsoon season when I lived here years ago (something about the driest couple years here in a really long time), so when I first heard the little pitter patter of raindrops on my roof, I was confused...

Sarah Glamour | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

Into the archives! I can't believe I haven't shared this session yet!  This was my first studio session after the move to El Paso, and it was such a fun session!

I met Sarah while working a military ball.  She was wearing this beautiful dress and looking all around gorgeous and all I could think was how great she would be to photograph.  When we got to talking and I found out that she is a makeup artist as well, I knew we had to work together. 

We had a great time with this shoot, and I feel like it really shows in the photos.  Doesn't she look gorgeous?

If you are interested in your own glamour portrait session, please contact me to schedule your complimentary consultation

Kitt Family 2016 | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

Today I want to share a session that's a little older.  I've been behind on blogging, but I can't skip sharing this one.  Everything about it makes me smile!

This is a family session I did for my good friend Kitt.  She's been with me since the beginning of my photography journey and I've done countless sessions with her family.  It's so fun comparing all the photos I've done with them to see how their family has grown.

Possible one of the most fun aspects of working with Kitt is her fluffball pack of dogs.  How stinking cute are they?  They are pretty much 100% fur and I just want to snuggle with them all day long. Don't you?

Check out some of the photos from our session below:

FLASHBACK! This is one of the shots from their 2015 family session when their little man was turning one.  Oh how he has grown!

Laura Babywearing | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

It's been a long, stressful couple months.  Since I last posted we packed up all our stuff, sold our house, and moved to El Paso Texas.  As you can imagine,  that was a lot to happen in a very short period of time and I got a bit behind on blogging. 

So it's time to catch up!  Over the next span of weeks, I will be sharing lots of older sessions, mixed in with the newer ones.  This one is from 2016, but its one that I'm still very excited about!  We had so much fun!

At the start of this session I had a very specific vision.  I had recently received a woven wrap (Pavo etini magnolia, in case anyone is interested) that I thought would go perfectly with my newest tulle skirt creation.  I had the image shown above in my head and sought out to create it.  But with such a beautiful family in my studio, I obviously couldn't stop there.  We had a lot of fun with some family shots and individual portraits as well.

Aren't these girls just wonderful?!

If you are interested in your own babywearing or family session, please contact me to set up your complimentary consultation today.

Happy New Year! | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

Well, that' s a wrap!  It's the end of 2016 and it's been a heck of a year.  I've worked with so many amazing people this year and, with the addition of my studio space, have been able to really explore the things that I can do with a camera.  

And I'm so excited to do it again.  2017, for me, will be all about change.   I'll be moving to El Paso, Texas and starting completely fresh.  I hope to meet and capture as many beautiful faces as I have in this past year and, like I am now, I hope that as 2018 rolls in I'll be looking back thinking, "Wow, look how much I've grown."

My new year's resolution is simple this year- keep moving forward.  No matter what challenges I face as everything around me changes, I plan to that simple goal.  Onward and upward!

Happy 2017 everyone!

Contact me to book your 2017 portrait session today!

Julie Babywearing Session | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

You all know I love babywearing sessions.  There is nothing more beautiful than a bond between mom and baby and there's something really special about the way that babywearing helps strengthen that bond. So of course I was excited to work with these two for a studio babywearing session. 

This little guy, on the other hand, wasn't all that excited.  Luckily he had his mom close for lots of cuddling and tickling to keep his mood in check.  Aren't they cute?!

If you'd like to book your own portrait session please contact me to set up your complimentary consultation.

Sadie Family Session | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Family Photographer

I've got an extra special session to share today.  This was a session I did while on vacation in Washington State this summer.  Not only did I get to see her for the first time in over a year, but I got to meet her adorable little man and capture some beautiful memories for them!

We found a gorgeous location- Ft. Stielacoom and arrived just in time for some beautiful sunset shots.  Little man was more in the mood for bed than a photoshoot, so he and Sadie just played and had fun while I captured the moments.  I love how they turned out!

If you'd like to book your own family session, please contact me to set up your complimentary consultation today!

Kindall Family | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Family Photographer

Can I just say one thing- twin moms are super-moms.  And twin moms who also have a toddler?  I don't know how you do it! 

But Kindall and her family seem to have it down.  They've got the sweetest toddler girl, and two tiny and adorable twins.  They really are a perfect family. 

I loved shooting this session because of the interactions between the family members.  The twins were holding hands while worn, the parents playing with everyone and having a great time, and of course I love hanging out with toddlers.  We had a lot of fun with races through the botanical garden and telling jokes to get her parents to laugh. 

And of course we took some beautiful photos- see for yourself!


If you would like to book your own family portrait session please contact me to set up your complimentary consultation appointment.

Alexis Glamour | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

I've got a fun one to share!  This was a really awesome session for me because it was a chance to let loose and be creative.  I love doing client work, but every once in a while I just need to shoot something that's 100% for me.  This was it. 

worked with Alexis a while back (see Alexis at the Beach) and I knew I needed to have her in my studio.  I told her that I was going to wrap her in tulle and do a glamour session, no extra details.  She was a total champ and went right for it!  I think she may have doubted me for just a second as I was wrapping a bolt of tulle around her like a mummy- "Have you done this before," she asked.  I hadn't, but I think the results speak for themselves!

Another awesome thing about this shoot is that for the tulle photos, everything was created by me.  I hand painted the backdrop (see DIY Painted Canvas Backdrop), made the floral crown, and made the dress on the spot in the studio. 

We had so much fun with this session, and I think we made some truly gorgeous photos.  See them for yourself!

If you'd like to book your own glamour session, please contact me to schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Alexis at the Beach | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

Ahh summer. There is something so comforting about the salty air and feeling of sand between my toes.  Nothing says summer quite like an early morning walk along the beach.  But I can one up that- what about a photo shoot with this beauty?

 Alexis and I were up bright and early to catch the Tybee Island sunrise for this shoot.  She's an aspiring model who is building her portfolio, and a total natural.  She rocked this shoot!  But don't take my word for it: See for yourself!

If you are interested in your own portrait session, please contact me to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Ruiz Family Maternity | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

I really love maternity sessions.  It is so amazing what a woman's body can accomplish in just 9 short months.  The changes a woman goes through, both physically and mentally are astounding.  There isn't much more beautiful than the curve of a pregnant belly, the strength in a new-mom-to-be's gaze as she thinks about her future child.

Like I said, I really love shooting maternity.

So I was obviously thrilled when the Ruiz family wanted to do a studio maternity session.  We had a good time from the moment we started shooting.  Both of these beautiful women have the type of personality that puts you at ease instantly, like we were already long time friends. Because of this we were able to jump right in and get some really great shots!

These two have the most handsome baby boy now.  I'm so happy for them, and excited to see their little one grow up.  And someday in the future I hope they can look back on these photos and remember this wonderful, fleeting time.  It goes by so quickly.

Congratulations Ruiz family!

Helen Family | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer


It was such a pleasure to have Helen and her two boys in my studio.  This was my second session with Helen, and I already knew her youngest was a blast to work with.  But this time she brought her oldest as well.  We were able to get a great family portrait, some brothers shots, and and some solo portraits of each of the boys.  One of these shots even ended up working perfectly for my display at Tater Bugs!  

This family was a blast to work with, as usual.  I can't wait to do it again!

Gwen | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Portrait Photographer

When I first met Gwen at a birthday part, I knew I had to get her into my studio.  She is two, and already a perfect model.  She's got bright blue eyes, an adorable smile, and she LOVES being in front of the camera.  As soon as I held up the camera her eyes would light up and she'd strike a pose.  Immediately afterwards she would run over to see the back of my camera.  I don't normally show sneak peeks, but when someone this little and charming asks, I can't say no.  

It turns out Gwen loves being behind the camera, too.  She spent almost as much of the shoot playing with my backup camera as she did modeling.  Time to train up a new assistant?  I think so!


One of the photos from this session actually ended up being the star of a display I put up at Tater Bugs in the Tanger Outlets in Pooler.  Here's a shot of the whole display:

If you'd like to set up your own portrait session, please contact me to schedule your free consultation.  I can't wait to here from you!